Who doesn’t like vacations? People who don’t like to spend a lot of money, that’s who. Good thing there’s no need to spend all your savings on a weekend getaway. These days, it’s fairly easy to stretch your dollar by using specialized apps and services that deliver quite the bang for your buck, and tell you how to spend less while getting more out of your traveling experience.
The one and only. Airbnb will help you find accommodations in the city of your choice, with very flexible pricing. You can get any kind of housing you like: apartments, entire houses, or shared rooms — nearly always the cheapest option. Depending on where you’re staying you can get hotel-like service or more of a hostel feel. Get whatever you feel comfortable with, but staying with locals is probably the best. Remember, if you’re not meeting locals, you’re not traveling.
Before you go somewhere, you need to book a flight! And Hipmunk is the app to use. It does what other apps don’t, which is a sorting algorithm called ‘Agony’. If you’re just searching for the cheapest flight, you might find yourself sifting through flights with two or three 10-hour layovers. Hipmunks eliminates that, since they recognize it’s not a boon to pay $20 more for a more comfortable arrangement.
Notable mention: the price graph. Input what city you’re traveling from and your destination, and Hipmunk will show you what the cheapest dates are to travel to that location. The difference could sometimes be hundreds of dollars, so make sure you plan accordingly.
If you do find yourself in a lengthy layover or a delay of some sort, LoungeBuddy can help you spend your time like a VIP. You don’t need a high-priced club membership of some sort to get you into the nice area, you just need this app.
The way it works is this: when you find yourself in an airport, LB takes your location information and gives you a list of available lounges. You can sort them by price, filter by amenities and browse photos of the lounge to choose what fits you best. Pay through the app, and you’re in! The best part is, figuring at the exorbitant prices of everything airport-related, this service practically pays for itself — you get tons of free perks like drinks, nice seats, and service personnel that doesn’t treat you like cattle.
Did you know that there’s a segment of every local economy that’s specifically dedicated to ripping off tourists? Sorry to tell you, but they’re really out to get you, and one of the major ways they try to do that is by using unfair currency exchange rates.
With XE Currency, you can monitor the exchange rates from your phone and make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, wherever you are. Check out the Pro version for even more features and monitoring options!
Ever been in a situation when you have to communicate with a local, but don’t know the language? It’s an awkward nightmare. With iTranslate, communication can be a pleasure.
The app’s most impressive feature is its voice-to-voice translation capabilities. Just start talking into the mic, wait a second, and you’ll get a translation of what you’re saying. It works in over 90 languages! The app also works offline, so you don’t have to pay exorbitant data roaming charges to use it.
*/Ernest is a writer and blogger trying to find a balance between productiveness and bingeing Netflix at 3 a.m. He writes about innovations in tech and social media. His best friend is his dog, Milo. /*